Central Leeds: Booze raid by burglar at Bierkeller

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A serial burglar who targets bars and pubs in Leeds city centre has been jailed for his latest offence at the Bierkeller.

Lee Joyce, 27, was jailed for eight months over the incident at the bar, on Park Row, on October 23 this year.

Ewan McLachlan, prosecuting, said Joyce had been spotted loitering outside the premises earlier in the day and was asked to leave as he was known to members of staff.

A manager then checked the CCTV system and spotted Joyce behind the bar loading a rucksack with 11 bottles of spirits. He had forced a door to gain entry to the premises.

Staff went outside and found him a short distance away.

They detained him and two bottles were smashed during a struggle. After his arrest, Joyce said he planned to sell the alcohol to buy drugs.

Joyce, of Westbourne Street, Beeston, pleaded guilty to burglary at Leeds Crown Court.

The court heard he was given a 16-week jail sentence for burglary in August this year after he managed to take £891 worth of alcohol from Tiger Tiger, on Albion Street.

He committed two other offences at licenced premises in January. In August last year, he broke into Queen’s Court, The Calls, and stole cash from a staff area. He was also caught taking bottles of alcohol from behind the bar at Brewery Wharf nightspot Oracle.

The court heard Joyce has made a total of 38 court appearances for 65 offences.

Martin Morrow, for Joyce, said his client’s offences were fuelled by his drug addiction and his trips to prison had become like a “revolving door”.

He said: “As soon as he leaves, he goes back in.”

Mr Morrow said Joyce did not feel he would be able to comply with any community-based sentence and wanted to use his time in prison to address his offending.

Jailing him, Judge Roger Ibbotson said: “I bear in mind that yours is a sad case.

“You have very considerable problems caused by your way of life.”

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